Inquiry into domestic violence with particular regard to violence against women and their children

The Inquiry (Original version)

On 26 February 2020, the Senate referred an inquiry into domestic violence with particular regard to violence against women and their children to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for report by 13 August 2020.

Further detail about the scope of the inquiry is provided in the terms of reference.

The Inquiry’s home page can be found here.

The Inquiry has been completed earlier than was scheduled and its report is available here.

This article describes the early completion of the report and the adverse reaction it received from the feminist lobby. I have yet to fully read the report, but one useful feature is a brief summary of the many enquiries that preceded it.

From an egalitarian perspective the dissenting report from Senator Rex Patrick is disappointing – and hypocritical beyond belief in terms of what was, wasn’t, and should have been addressed by the Committee.

I note too that the term ‘male victim’ appears only twice in the 44 page report, in each case only as a brief passing reference to recommendations from earlier inquiries.

2. The Inquiry (Revised version)

What do you do when a powerful part of your audience isn’t happy? Yes, you start another inquiry:

Federal Government launches new domestic violence inquiry‘ (31 May 2020)

Parliamentary Inquiry into Family, Domestic and Sexual violence (31 May 2020) Minister Payne’s media release

The deadline for submissions for this inquiry is 24 July 2020.

Submissions should address one of more of the terms of reference.

Do domestic violence ‘help-lines’ help male victims? How?

Some time ago I wrote a post about an Australian domestic violence organisation called ‘DV Connect’ and how they treated men who contacted them. I’d suggest taking a read of that now if you have the time. This other post may be of broader interest.

I haven’t written anything more about the topic. Yet at the same time, it is something which is put in our face every time the media (TV) runs an item on domestic violence and finishes with the advice to call (such and such agency) if “you are troubled by violent or abusive behaviour from your partner”. Which leaves everyone thinking that at least some help is available for (all) victims of domestic behaviour. But it’s not so.

Most agencies in the domestic violence sector will either turn male callers away or will (officially) cater for them, but on the (wink/nudge) understanding that they are either abusers trying to locate their partners, or are simply abusers in denial.

But now the topic of whether domestic violence help-lines actually do assist male callers has been raised again by an English researcher, Deborah Powney (Twitter id = @Firebird_psych). On 14 April 2020 Deborah began sending daily tweets as per the following:

“Can @RefugeCharity@ukhomeoffice be clear whether the 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline directly supports male victims of domestic abuse or not? Can they clearly state what happens when a man calls? @ManKindInit@nicolejacobsST@10DowningStreet@patel4witham

Simple question. Shouldn’t take long to answer. And she waited. And while she did, she asked one or two further questions, for example:

“Could you provide the numbers of female perpetrators you have helped in the past 12 month? Could also provide the number of female perpetrator programmes that Respect have accredited in the same time period?” (To @RespectUK on 29 April 2020)

It took until 15 May 2020 before Deborah received an initial response.

“Hi, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline is branded as a women’s helpline, however if we do receive calls from men the Helpline our staff will always listen, risk assess, address any safeguarding issues and validate the experience. They will then refer them to the Men’s Advice Line which provides specialist support for men.”

Deborah responded the same day, as follows: “Thank you for your response. Just to clarify – you do not help male victims at all – other than ‘immediate’ referal to the @RespectUK men’s helpline. Is that correct?”

@RefugeCharity further responded (also 15 May 2020)

“Hi, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline is branded as a women’s helpline, however if we do receive calls from men the Helpline our staff will always listen, risk assess, address any safeguarding issues and validate the experience. The national domestic abuse helpline, which Refuge runs, is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days week. If male callers contact us, we refer them immediately to the men’s advice line, which is a specialist service for male victims of domestic abuse. They will then refer them to the Men’s Advice Line which provides specialist support for men.”

On 15 May 2020 Deborah then asked:

“Can @RefugeCharity@ukhomeoffice be clear what support the 24 hour National DA Helpline gives to male victims of domestic abuse when the @RespectUK taxpayer- funded “Men’s Advice Line” is closed (from either 5pm or 8pm weekdays to 9am & weekends) @nicolejacobsST@pritipatel”

While waiting for a response to the above, on 17 May 2020 Deborah queried another troubling aspect of the UK Government’s current DV response:

@martintandc @RespectUK @JoTodd4 Could you clearly explain why you make specific reference to male terrorists in your Toolkit for working with Male Victims of domestic abuse for the Men’s Advice Line? @nicolejacobsST @pritipatel @ukhomeoffice @mankind @MartinDaubney @PhilipDaviesUK

“For instance, the biggest denominator in acts of terrorism and mass killings is that almost all of the perpetrators are men. Women suffer mental illness at roughly the same rate as men, but almost none commit large-scale violence. Similarly, the levels of suicide for men are much greater then for women, because of social pressure on men not to seek help to deal with their emotional problems”. (Source)

Response subsequently received from a reader (19 May 2020)

From reading this material it seems obvious to me that staff in the relevant agencies had not considered how male callers were being dealt with, let alone how they should be dealt with. The topic was not even ‘on the radar’ as it was seemingly seen to be unimportant, and offering to assist men at all was seen as merely a token gesture.

You might wish to now refer to Deborah’s Twitter account to see if any further responses have been received from government, domestic violence industry, or readers.

(Some information about Deborah’s current research project regarding the experience of male victims of domestic violence can be found here.)

Has there been a surge in domestic violence during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic the feminist lobby has claimed that there has been a surge* in domestic violence. (*Note that the term ‘surge’ has been well and truly overtaken by now, more recently by ‘staggering increase‘ or ‘driving a spike‘). This trend has manifested itself across several countries, with the UN Women agency being a significant player. UN Women has produced guidelines in relation to gathering data about domestic violence against women.

The feminist lobby has linked this alleged increase in violence to, in particular, the common practice of governments requiring people to quarantine in their own homes. The proof offered to support the feminist position has primarily been claimed to be significant increases in call volume to DV help-lines (largely operated by feminist NGO’s). There have also been similar claims made in relation to alleged increases in traffic to web sites dealing with the welfare of victims of DV.

In only one of the media articles I read, prior to uploading this post, was reference made to an increase in the number of calls to police. This did not relate to increases in the number of charges laid, nor punishments meted out, but rather to queries made by people concerned about a perceived threat of DV.

I would suggest, as have others, that domestic violence is the feminist lobby’s primary cash-cow. Consider too, for example, the salary of DV agency bosses such as Sandra Horley, who is reported to receive a remuneration package of more than £210,000. The British Prime Minister is currently paid approx. £155,000.

To base government policy, even just one-off hand-outs of public money, on unverified allegations, is at best naïve. And when such claims are being provided by individuals with a vested interest in promoting a public view of a problem that they assert to be large & growing. Well, one might label such vested interest ‘ideological bias’, ‘pecuniary interest’, or worse as per the flow-chart below (Source). But whatever you call it, it is by no means competent, objective, unbiased research.

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It is particularly annoying that whilst the feminist-saturated domestic violence industry is loudly proclaiming a jump in violence in the home, they are maintaining their silence with respect to the reality of female-perpetrated assaults/abuse of men and children.

The other galling issue, although unrelated to Covid-19, is that I have belatedly learnt that, in the UK, the rate of women being killed by their partner was now at a 40 year low (Source). You would think that this would be shouted from the rooftops, wouldn’t you? Well, unless people sought to maintain perception of a growing epidemic. One that desperately demands further public funding.

What follows now are a series of media releases or articles dealing with the issue, presented in reverse chronological order:

No spike in home violence, police say (10 June 2020) ‘The Australian’ newspaper tells us that NSW authorities “almost doubled domestic violence checks” but found “no increase in abuse rates“.

‘Tsunami’ warning for domestic violence networks as victims try to escape coronavirus lockdown (6 June 2020)

“Professor Wendt says women are experiencing violence at a more “intense level” as they try to survive the restrictions and plan their escape as measures lift”. Needless to say, what constitutes a “more intense level” is left to the imagination, and no supporting statistics are provided to quantify intensity.

NSW domestic violence down 12% amid virus (28 May 2020) Finally, the first of the ‘official’ figures emerge, and surprise, surprise …

UK Domestic Abuse Charity Sees 10-Fold Spike in Website Traffic During COVID-19 Lockdown (28 May 2020)

COVID-19 funding to boost domestic violence support (26 May 2020) Australia. The NSW and Federal Governments “investing” more than $21 million to boost frontline services and other supports.

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Clearly there’s no need to study the implications for male victims (there’s so darn few of them calling in for help, you see)

No evidence that domestic violence is rising due to COVID-19 (11 May 2020) USA

Government to invest millions into family violence services (11 May 2020) Meanwhile, also in New Zealand, “demand during lockdown increased by some 35 percent compared to last year, but she believed the full impact was yet to emerge.”

Coronavirus: Assault decline eases fears of spike in domestic abuse, by Kieran Gair (10 May 2020) Australia

Hollande highlights domestic violence in French lockdown (9 May 2020) The World Health Organisation claims that domestic violence has increased by 60% (based on “emergency calls by women” they claimed had been made).

Dementia charity sees 44% increase in calls during COVID-19 lockdown (9 May 2020) UK. Imagine 44% more people becoming demented. Better get your chequebook out, Prime Minister. Look out Team Harpie #HostileTakeover

The shocking rise in domestic violence reports since lockdown (3 May 2020) Australia

“One of the terrible side effects of Australia being in lockdown is the alarming rise in the number of people ringing domestic violence help lines”

Coronavirus: Government pledges £76m for abuse victims (2 May 2020) UK

“But Labour said this fell “woefully short” of what was needed and proposed amendments to the bill that would see 10% of the £750 million charity support package announced last month ring-fenced in a fast-track fund for domestic abuse charities”

Woman who stabbed boyfriend in the hand told police ‘isolation is getting to me’ (1 May 2020) UK

Domestic violence victims seeking help rises 10 per cent after COVID-19 lockdown (1 May 2020) Australia

” … I have just had 50 front-line workers on a statewide forum on the phone and all of them are saying how much busier it is… and now the stats come back to prove it”. “Stats” that agency staff themselves generated … what could go wrong?

“Ms Foster said the figures were concerning because they conflicted with a recent report from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, which found “domestic violence assaults recorded by police did not increase in March 2020, despite social distancing measures commencing … But Ms Foster said the report had sent a “dangerous message” to victims and policymakers. She said it was “irresponsible to put out a report drawing a conclusion that fears that domestic violence would increase hadn’t been realised.”

Coronavirus: Homes a prison as assaults on rise (1 May 2020) Australia

“The Queensland Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Di Farmer, said authorities across the country were grappling with an “amplification” of abuse caused by the COVID-19 outbreak and tough health restrictions.

Domestic violence crisis centres in the state have experienced a 40 per cent spike in calls for help since the start of the pandemic …”

Domestic violence services prepare for demand as coronavirus restrictions begin to ease (1 May 2020) Australia

“The most concerning statistic came from Google data, with the Federal Government seeing a 75 per cent increase in searches about family and domestic violence compared to the average number of searches over the previous five years.”

“Alison Macdonald, acting chief executive of Domestic Violence Victoria, said there was clear evidence a surge in demand was coming. “We know from international evidence that there are spikes in family violence in post emergency and post crisis situations,” she said. “We know from Australian experience with bushfires, with floods and with cyclones.”

Women’s safety and Covid-19: Focus on the evidence (30 April 2020) ANROWS agency. Australia. A slightly more detailed discussion of the information that is currently available

Domestic abuse killings double and calls to helpline surge by 50% during coronavirus lockdown (27 April 2020) UK. And online requests for help have gone up 400%. All as reported by campaigners and agency staff, etc. And gov’t hands over money for yet another awareness campaign (#youarenotalone)

Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on family planning and ending gender-based violence (27 April 2020) Another day, another UN report, with this one asserting that:

“To estimate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on efforts to end gender-based violence, Avenir Health modelled a delay in the scale-up of prevention efforts as attention and resources are devoted to COVID-19, and an increase in violence during the period of lockdown. Assuming a slow start to the scale-up of prevention programmes (i.e., a 2-year delay in 2020 and 2021), followed by a rapid expansion of prevention programs in the middle of the decade, an estimated 2 million additional instances of intimate partner violence in 2020-2021 are expected.”

“COVID-19 pandemic is likely to cause a one-third reduction in progress towards ending gender-based violence by 2030”

“For every 3 months the lockdown continues, an additional 15 million additional cases of gender-based violence are expected”

That’s right, no police reports were used to generate predictions. It was all based on modelling. Remarkable. And of course, no mention anywhere of female perpetration.

UK lockdown: Calls to domestic abuse helpline jump by half (27 April 2020) UK. I’m getting dizzy, now calls to helplines *are* jumping up (but still no ‘real’ statistics).

Man fighting for life, woman expected to be charged following serious stabbing at Kilburn in Adelaide (25 April 2020) South Australia

Domestic violence in the wake of COVID-19 (23 April 2020) NSW, Australia

“Domestic violence assaults recorded by police did not increase in March 2020”

Hotels say offer of refuge for domestic abuse victims has been snubbed (19 April 2020) UK. Just send cash please

Coronavirus Australia: Why calls to domestic violence helplines are plummeting (18 April 2020) So a surge in calls means more domestic violence hence more funds are needed for feminist NGO’s, whereas a lull in calls means the same thing. OK, sure

Domestic abuse killings ‘more than double’ amid Covid-19 lockdown (15 April 2020) As identified by “campaigners”. Read more about ‘Counting Dead Women’ here.

COVID-19: The bystander role has never been more critical in calling out (9 April 2020) What’s going on? There appears to be a change of feminist tactics, as suddenly statements admitting that there has been no boost in the number of DV victims post commencement of pandemic.

No spike in domestic violence in Tasmania despite early warnings: police (9 April 2020) Whoops, now that’s awkward. And here’s an unconvincing attempt at recovery by a high-profile feminist spokesperson.

A new Covid-19 crisis: Domestic abuse rises worldwide (7 April 2020)

Statement by Executive-Director UN Women regarding the effect of Covid-19 on the incidence of domestic violence (6 April 2020) Another report released the same week. In each case the ‘proof’ of the link (between Covid-19 and heightened domestic violence) is inferred to be claims made by staff of feminist agencies & NGO’s.

Family violence perpetrators using COVID-19 as ‘a form of abuse we have not experienced before’ (29 March 2020)

‘Covid-19 will slam the door shut’: Australia’s family services brace for domestic violence spike (28 March 2020)

More men die: Women most affected. A Janice Fiamengo video (24 March 2020)

Coronavirus Australia: Why women will feel the impact more than men (17 March 2020) 

More on the Covid-19 issue can be found here, and other blog posts that may be of interest might include:

Public events and domestic violence myth

Partner in arms: A primer on the domestic violence industry

Two awareness campaigns. Only one can be criticised. Cowed by feminism?

Grotesque hypocrisy by feminist politicians (re: domestic violence)

Last night I read an article by the MRA-related UK group HEqual.

It was regarding the response of three UK feminist politicians to the suicides of Caroline Flack and of Carl Sargeant. It disgusted me. I suggest you take a look now … you can read it here

That HEqual paper reminded me of some earlier similar events, and initially the case of Ms Layla Moran (Lib Dem MP for Oxford West & Abingdon and Spokesperson for Education, UK)

Read related information provided by Ally Fogg (a Twitter stream)

The next case that came to mind was that of Sarah Champion.

Read related information provided, again, by HEqual

Ex-husband of Labour’s domestic abuse Minister ‘still has nightmares about her’ after attack during divorce (26 September 2016) UK

(This post shall be continued – in part as I want to let the annoyance and disgust that I now feel, subside somewhat)

Australian Federal Family Law Inquiry 2019

“The Federal Government will launch an inquiry into the family law system, after accusations the court system is failing vulnerable Australians.

Coalition backbenchers and the crossbench, including One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, have been calling for an inquiry for some time, arguing the system is too expensive and slow.

The inquiry will be run by former social services minister and long-serving Liberal MP Kevin Andrews.” (Source)

The feminist lobby and their domestic violence industry took great umbrage at this announcement. And so it began.

The Committee’s home page can be found here, and details concerning the making of submissions can be found here.

The first specific matter that the feminists got upset about was Pauline Hanson’s reference to the practice whereby some women make false claims against their former partners in family court, esp. in relation to domestic violence and sexual assault (refer example of outrage in the media).

In terms of topics related to the treatment of victims, another issue was that of couples counselling (related article). The feminist DV Industry is generally opposed to this practice, claiming that it exposes women to additional unnecessary risk. But not everyone was of the same view (related article).

Another curious complaint from various feminist spokespersons was that there had been too many inquiries, and the proposed inquiry was both unnecessary and would delay progress. This is extraordinary given the ongoing vocal urging for more inquiries/commissions/etc despite the many state and federal inquiries that have taken place – particularly related to domestic violence. A number of these inquiries can be seen listed in the relevant section of my Table of Contents page.

Submissions to the Family Law Inquiry have now closed, and a final report is due to be submitted in October 2020.

See also:

Mounting anger around the Family Law inquiry (29 June 2020)

Activists attempt to shut down the family law inquiry (19 March 2020)

One in Three’s submission to the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System (24 January 2020)

B.C. psychologist apologizes for one-sided opinion in family court (14 January 2020) How many Australian ‘professionals’ are providing similar support to mothers?

How abuse of violence orders corrupts our family law system, by Augusto Zimmermann (11 November 2019)

Help make sure the family law inquiry exposes the real issues, by Bettina Arndt (1 November 2019) The closing date for submissions to the Inquiry is 18 December 2019

The Family Court does need reform, but not the way Pauline Hanson thinks (28 October 2019) As is often the case with these pro-feminist items, the material in the readers comments is more valuable than the article itself. Or at least the comments that haven’t yet been removed by the moderators, which is common practice at The Conversation. This here is a Twitter thread that might well present a wider range of views.

Joe Hildebrand: ‘Deadliest of lies’ we keep swallowing (27 October 2019) Australia

Pauline Hanson should be replaced on family law inquiry, Rosie Batty says (23 October 2019)

Rosie Batty launches alternative to government family law enquiry (23 October 2019)

A counsellor writes to the Family Court inquiry (18 October 2019)

Zali Steggall and family law: Part of the disease, not the cure (30 September 2019) Australia

Kevin Andrews refused to condemn Hanson over ‘lying’ women claim (24 September 2019) Australia

Thousands misusing abuse orders to get legal aid, says parenting charity (3 July 2018) UK

Domestic violence offenders use child custody orders to abuse ex-partners (3 January 2016) “Men who manipulate the system and abuse their partners”. Of course, only men do that, right? And it’s ok to label men that way, because I mean everyone knows we’re not taking about *all* men.

In closing, how many, if any, of the following groups explicitly represent fathers/men and/or male victims of domestic abuse? How many have anything approaching gender equality with regards to their board and/or their staff?

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Other posts in this blog that you might find relevant include:

Partners in alms: A primer on the ‘Domestic Violence Industry’

The Australian federal election of 2019: Men & boys remain invisible

The last Federal election in Australia was held on 18 May 2019, and was won by the Liberal/National Party coalition. It shaped up to be very similar to the last one with regards to the complete lack of attention given to men’s/boys issues. Oh, but rest assured, we didn’t have to “sit by and watch another election devoid of issues that matter to women“. Au contraire!

And on that note, where is the male equivalent of ‘Women Vote Au’? They claim to be wholly funded by donations. Again the implication in all their material is that women’s issues are largely being ignored … how then would you describe the treatment of issues relating to men and boys? And yet even in late April 2019 journalists were still asserting that women’s issues are being ignored.

The first gender-related issue raised in the campaign proper was the use of gender quotas to attempt to increase the number of female politicians. The emphasis here was on bashing the Liberal Party regarding its (alleged) serious ‘women problem’ (example).

Not surprisingly the issue of domestic violence soon made an appearance:

In February 2019 I noted that “Morrison promises $78 million for combatting domestic violence“. And we’re back to the future. But on a brighter note, here’s an excellent response from Augusto Zimmermann. (What a shame Augusto wasn’t appointed as the replacement for Elizabeth Broderick at the Australian Human Rights Commission)

Labor pledges $60m to help victims of domestic violence rebuild their lives (4 March 2019)

Coalition pledges an extra $328m to counter domestic violence (5 March 2019)

I know, it’s an aside, but I can’t help but wonder how many Australian female pollies have belted their partners, and whether their colleagues would support them in the same manner that British MP Ms Layla Moran was supported:

Liberal Democrat support of Layla Moran – politicians seven times more likely to support female perpetrators of domestic violence than to criticise them (29 March 2019) UK.

And then a touch of American (Democrat) politics crept in …

Election to become showdown on abortion as Labor launches policy (6 March 2019) Labor pledging free, public hospital terminations should it win office.

The next thing, the feminist lobby looked around and noticed lobbying by the Australian Better Families Party, and no doubt some of the many, many, reader’s comments being attached to pro-feminist articles in the mainstream media.

Misleading political campaigns? No thanks, we’ve had enough, by Anna Kerr (22 March 2019). Who would have thought that seeking recognition and support for male victims of domestic violence occurs because the Men’s Rights Movement “denies the gendered nature of domestic violence”? Well, Team Harpy clearly does.

And then the focus swung back to domestic violence as Bill Shorten ups his promised amount of $$$ as described in ‘Labor targets family violence, Coalition funds skills as campaign resumes‘ (26 April 2019)

What’s in the 2019 Budget for women? Very little (3 April 2019) And yet far more than was allocated to men.

And given that no-one has published *anything* to date about the impact of the budget on men & boys, here’s more on the female perspective courtesy of ‘Mamamia’:

These are the biggest winners and losers of the 2019 Federal Budget (2 April 2019) A $150 million funding package for women’s sport? Nice

What did Tuesday’s Federal Budget actually do for women? We break it down (4 April 2019) Note that ‘Domestic Violence’ is listed as something we (women) “got”, so I guess male victims shouldn’t get their hopes up then? “But on the whole, women are not the winners in this budget“. Huh? Countless millions down for women, but apparently someone else’s way better off.

‘No vision or strategy for women’: An overview of the Budget’s impact (5 April 2019)

On 3 May 2019 our Prime Minister claimed that “disrespect of women is the real issue“.

And then … “Prime Minister Scott Morrison will on Saturday announce a $75 million package to help women back into the workforce after looking after their children or elderly parents.

Mr Frydenberg said career checks will be aimed at women aged 30 to 45 so they can get professional advice and training.

Sport is also on the agenda for the prime minister, who will be campaigning in Melbourne.

Mr Morrison wants to spend $70 million on upgrading sports facilities and creating high performance facilities.

He’s also promised $15 million to set up a permanent home in Melbourne for the national women’s soccer team, the Matildas. Senator McKenzie said the government wants women athletes to have high performance facilities “just like the guys do”.” (Source)

Existing party policies specifically related to gender (where one or more could be readily identified):

The Liberal Party: Supporting Australian Women

The National Party: Safer Regional Communities (refer to Protecting and supporting women and children)

The Labor Party: Australian Women – Labor’s Plan for Equality. “A Shorten Labor Government will put achieving gender equality for Australian women at the centre of our priorities with a National Strategy for Gender Equality.” This translates into more than $1.2 billion in hand-outs.

The Labor Party: Gender Equality and Women’s Rights (page 174) and Preventing Violence Against Women and Children (page 176)

The Greens: Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women

Interesting observation in an article concerning a recent development at Melbourne University: “In the lead up to the federal election, the insidious nature of identity politics is even more apparent than usual” (23 April 2019)

As an aside, what is the cost of this grossly inequitable division of government funds and support for women/girls versus men/boys? Here’s one perspective (USA video).

Some post-election wash-up:

Government delivering “outcomes” for women? Not so much (19 February 2020) Feminist are dissatisfied with handouts (nothing new there) but at least the government is talking about support for women unlike the ongoing silence re: men/boys.

‘Homogenous groupthink’: Labor women slam election strategy set by ‘Anglo men’ (17 October 2019)

Coordination and targeting of domestic violence funding and actions‘, Auditor-General report No. 45 2018/19 (p7), stated “Total expenditure by the Commonwealth across the life of the National Plan to date, is around $723 million” (June 2019)

‘Choking on wokeness’ by Miranda Devine (29 May 2019)

Elsewhere in this blog you might also be interested in the following posts:

Partners in alms: A primer on the ‘Domestic Violence Industry’

Australian taxpayer-funded organisations that do little/nothing for men (other than demonising them)

Dealing with men’s issues – The current situation in Australia

Re-instatement of the Women’s Budget Statement in Australia? Bring it on, but consider men too

Sadly, Australian politicians only find the courage to criticise the feminist lobby after they retire

No to Violence: Working together to end men’s family violence

The No to Violence agency (‘NTV’), also known as the Male Family Violence Prevention Association, appears to be populated by ardent pro-feminists. Despite that, surprisingly one third of the board members are male. Of those staff listed in the web site, seven are female and three are male.

In January 2019 I was blocked from the twitter stream of the CEO of NTV, Jacqui Watt, without explanation. I became aware of Jacqui’s stream via browsing the Twitter stream @OurWatch CEO, Patty Kinnersly. (Credit to Patty for not blocking me, although I am blocked from the OurWatch general account)

NTV do not appear to be listed in the ACNC register, but relevant details including a copy of their 2018 annual report are available in their web site.

NTV is heavily supported by the Victorian government and their annual report acknowledges receipt of almost $3.9 million in grant funding for the year ending 30 June 2018.

In this 2014 submission NTV sought to undermine the integrity of the ‘One in Three‘ organisation.

In this 2014 submission NTV sought to undermine the integrity of the ‘One in Three‘ organisation.

Anyone wishing to complain about NTV or the conduct of specific staff members should familiarise themselves with the Complaints Procedure.

West Australian inquiry into family & domestic violence (2019)

I heard about the development of this strategy via the One in Three organisation.

The State Government is developing a 10 Year Strategy for Reducing Family and Domestic Violence in Western Australia (the Strategy). It will guide a whole of community approach to prevention and earlier intervention, victim safety and perpetrator accountability. 

The Strategy will include a focus on access and inclusion, and consider the unique and diverse needs of Aboriginal people, people with disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, LGBTQ+ people, and people in regional and remote Western Australia.” 

The proposed vision of the strategy is stated as being “A future where all Western Australians live free from family and domestic violence, and where women and children are safe, respected, valued and treated as equals in private and public life.” 

So bad luck if you believe the government also has a duty to keep men safe, respected and valued. Nah-ah. Not a priority. Not gonna happen. And yet another instance of #GenderEqualityWhenItSuits.

The relevant page in the WA government agency’s web site is here. In February 2020 that web page states “Survey responses, written submissions and messages to the Minister have now closed“. A completion date for the project is not noted.

By way of background, other references related to West Australian ‘initiatives’ or news can be found here.

Some observations regarding online information concerning filicide

I was browsing Twitter the other evening and noted a reference to a UK article entitled Violent fathers given access to children even after 50 deaths. The Twitter thread to which I subsequently responded can be found here.

I queried whether (in the UK) more children were killed by their mother or father, and I included a link to an earlier post I prepared regarding filicide that shows, amongst other things, that in Australia the biological mother kills more children.

Another poster then provided a link to a 2013 University of Manchester article entitled Findings from most in-depth study into UK parents who kill their children. The study relied upon a 10-year consecutive case series of convicted homicides and homicide-suicides (01/01/97-31/12/06) in England and Wales. That paper defined ‘filicide’ as “a homicide committed by a parent or adult in-loco parentis, with the victim aged under 18.”

The article noted that:

“Overall, fathers were significantly more likely to kill their children than mothers, and were more likely to use violent methods of killing, have previous convictions for violent offences, perpetrate multiple killings, and have a history of substance misuse or dependence.”

I sought to verify the statistical source and compare this with other sources or studies available online, for which I then went hunting. So what did I find? Well it was interesting (though I note that my research is to be continued as time permits and as I receive responses to both my Twitter posts and this blog post).

Soon afterwards another poster assured me that fathers killed more children, and added “if you factor in that there are only 2% of males who are stay-at-home parents, the vast majority of single parents are women and women do the vast majority of child-rearing, if you considered hours by capita on childcare then the stats would be vastly skewed against men.” He/she then provided a link to a 2017 article in The Conversation entitled Understanding the triggers for filicide will help prevent it. If you can spare the time be sure to note the readers comments. My requests for further related/supporting reference works were declined.

Another reference I came across was entitled ‘Filicide: Mental Illness in Those Who Kill Their Children’ (4 April 2013). Note too the following reader’s comment which struck an accord with my own initial thoughts, but to which the authors failed to respond:

“The paper presents information that appears skewed that hides certain details of the sampling. It notes that the significant majority of perpetrators are fathers but this includes Step fathers that is a social construct. This figure portrays fathers as being more likely to kill a child when in fact it is mothers & their partners that are more likely to be the perpetrators. The fathers protective role is supported by the fact that step mothers commit only 2% (in one case) of the cases. Other research in the US including DOJ and Dept of Child Services show that the largest perpetrators of filicide in children under 1 year old are biological mothers.

Do not see a break down of biological fathers vs biological mothers role, and the insistence of including the artificial mix of step fathers/mothers only serve to skew the impressions the media is likely to interpret from this article. The inclusion of step fathers with speaking about fathers is a common ploy seen in media to portray fathers in bad light. In my local area, in the overwhelming majority of times the word “father” is used in a negative context committing a crime against a child, its in fact a step father or mothers boyfriend.

Your statement “Overall, a significantly higher proportion of fathers than mothers were convicted of filicide; a male to female ratio = 2:1” is problematic. You are using courtroom outcomes to determine guilt and severity. We know from several studies that women receive lighter sentences for the same crimes/circumstances in about that same ratio. Examining the data chart is even more troubling. 84 out of 195 male perpetrators (don’t know how you can include step fathers as having committed filicide unless he kills his own biological children) receive the charge of murder compared with 9 out of 102 female perpetrators.

My hypothesis from data collected from government sources in the US, it is clear that the biological fathers role is very protective compared to all other parent ‘figures’. It appears this is also correct in your data if you were to solve a few simple linear equations to arrive at the ratios of biological fathers to mothers as well, and treat each demographic separately. But the statement you make that “I am going to presume that this is by design and qualifies as an example of the “WAW” effect which is a form of bias.”

I  also came acrossChild homicide perpetrators worldwide: a systematic review (date unknown). This paper took a global perspective and noted significant deficiencies in available date, for example:

“Vast differences in the definitions of perpetrator categories only allowed crude comparisons across countries. Categorisation of perpetrators into parents, other family members, acquaintances, strangers and unknown did not capture nuances such as, for example, mothers’ boyfriends, who were considered as acquaintances as there was a lack of information on whether they were solid family members or casual relationships.”

My initial observations include:

  • That most statistical sources and the papers based on them were relatively dated
  • That papers were inclined to focus more on the gender of victims rather than perpetrators
  • That explanations or factors contributing to the crime were sought and discussed more in the case of female perpetrators, than for male perpetrators. In the case of women, the two most common factors seem to be that women spend more time with children and are hence more likely to harm them, and that female killers are more likely to be found to be younger and/or mentally ill.
  • That the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim was usually identified, but not clearly detailed in the case of differentiating biological father, step father or de-facto partner.
  • That an unknown, but possibly quite significant, number of murders are apparently excluded from being classed as filicide due to mental illness on the part of the murderer. This would reduce the ratio of female to males sentenced.

One potentially relevant factor not discussed in any of the papers I came across was the gender bias (towards women) in the police and court system, which could involve less women being charged with murder, and with less being found guilty upon being charged.

Other related posts in my blog that may be of interest include:

The often contrasting reaction when mums and dads kill their children

On fathers and their children

Is child abuse a gendered crime too?

Public events & domestic violence myth

Feminists claim a bogus strong link between televised football and/or major sports events such as the U.S Superbowl to sudden (alleged) surges in the incidence of domestic violence.

By way of background this topic was formally addressed in another of my blog posts entitled ‘Fudging the figures to support the feminist narrative‘.

Given however that the media repeats the same theme in various western countries on a fairly regular basis, I have decided that it merits its own post here. But don’t take my word for it, just try word-searching on google, twitter, etc, using terms like ‘World Cup domestic violence’ or ‘Super Bowl domestic violence’ to find examples such as those listed below.

To start the ball rolling let’s begin by reading ‘Does most domestic violence occur on Super Bowl Sunday?‘ (7 September 2001), and then move on to ‘The World Cup Abuse Nightmare‘, by Christina Hoff Sommers (10 July 2010)

Australian variants of the same hoax include this 2014 article and one about the NSW State of Origin (2018)

I used to think the Melbourne Cup was as wholesome as … well … whatever. But oh, no! Here’s a sample of relevant articles that suggest otherwise:

Our Watch CEO: Keeping women safe is crucial ahead of next week (1 November 2019), Families not the winners on Cup day, and Melbourne Cup alcohol and domestic violence

Take a look at ‘Today, as many celebrate, Australia becomes a more dangerous place for women and children‘ (5 November 2019) for the unconvincing ‘proof’ of alleged jumps in domestic violence.

Then there’s ‘Domestic violence services brace for calls as some men take out their footy finals frustration‘ (20 September 2019) And take a look at Twitter to see how many feminist groups and White Knights are trumpeting this misandrist fable.

And here’s a couple of 2018 World Cup articles (example 1 / example 2)

Searches related to domestic violence spiked during both World Cup semi-finals (14 July 2018)

The Two Englands (12 July 2018)

Manager of Newtown pub fired for ‘joking’ about violence against women (19 July 2018)

But wait, a variation on the theme – it is alleged that people (men, of course) are more inclined to beat their partners after natural disasters. The ‘proof’ offered is (you’ll never guess!) calls for assistance from alleged female victims of abuse, offered up by agencies with a vested interest in bumps in call volume. 

Feminists Slander Australian Firefighters and All Men – The Fiamengo File Episode 114 (6 February 2020)

Bushfires: Agencies report post-natural disaster spike in domestic violence incidents (6 February 2020)

The Hidden Disaster: Violence in the Aftermath of Natural Disaster‘ (2013).

NSW, Sydney, QLD bushfire updates: Fury after activist links firefighters to domestic violence‘ (13 November 2019)

And next thing you know it is claimed that climate change is also a trigger for increasing level of domestic violence against women. Google search on ‘domestic violence climate change’ (for example) for more on this topic:

The cost of climate change on women and girls internationally is dire (27 February 2020)

Climate breakdown ‘is increasing violence against women’ (30 January 2020)

Why climate change fuels violence against women (28 January 2020)

(Update 1 April 2020: Now not only are firemen labelled as likely domestic abusers, but according to state government Minister Lisa Neville, so too are recreational/sporting shooters. Don’t bother asking the date of the last time that a licensed firearm user was convicted of a DV-related murder in Victoria. You know she’s right)

The most recent variation on this theme are media statements regarding the real and imagined effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the incidence of domestic violence. This topic is addressed in this other blog post.